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Should We Be Worried About the L-Carnitine in Red Meat?

Should We Be Worried About the L-Carnitine in Red Meat?

We’ve known that red meat can be quite dangerous since 1986, when a study funded by Harvard University identified a statistically significant relationship between the consumption of the carcinogenic compounds found in red meat, and the risk of developing bowel cancer.

However, a recent paper published by the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio suggests that there might be another, more pressing reason to fear red meat.

L-Carnitine Encourages Harmful Bacteria

In this paper Doctor Hazen, head of preventive cardiology at the Cleveland Clinic, explored the idea that L-carnitine, a nutrient found in red meat, could encourage the growth of harmful bacteria in the gut and promote the development of atherosclerosis.

Dr. Hazen examined the cardiac effects of a carnitine-enhanced diet in normal mice, and comparing the results to a set of readings taken from a group of mice that were fed a diet free of red meat.

He found that mice fed a high L-carnitine diet developed a unique strain of gut bacteria capable of converting this so-called nutrient into harmful TMAOs much faster than the control group.

The doctor also noticed that the rats fed a high L-carnatine diet were much more susceptible to the build-up of cholesterol in their arteries and much more likely to develop atherosclerosis.

Furthermore, mice which were fed a more controlled diet did not develop the microbes needed to metabolise L-carnitine, and never suffered from a sudden influx of TMAO compounds. The control mice also showed much less chance of developing increased cholesterol levels.

What does this mean? Basically, the findings of Dr. Hazen’s study imply that anyone subjecting themselves to excess amounts of L-carnitine runs the risk of encouraging harmful bacteria to develop in their gut.

These harmful bacteria encourage the conversion of L-carnitine into potentially damaging compounds capable of reducing the body’s ability to deal with cholesterol, and adding to the risk of developing heart disease in later life.

The good news is that Hazen’s study also showed that not eating red meat regularly actively discouraged the build-up of harmful bacteria in the gut, meaning that moving away from this potentially damaging, carcinogenic substance could allow your body to recover fairly quickly.

Thereby significantly reduce the chances of your body creating the harmful TMAOs thought to encourage heart disease.

How to Avoid Red Meat

If you’re worried about eating red meat, and want to move to a more vegetarian friendly diet, you might want to take a look at this list of organic superfoods. By adding them to your diet, you can help to replace many of the beneficial nutrients found in red meat, and ensure that your body is properly nourished.

You might also want to think about adding a dietary supplement like Maximum Vibrance to your diet. These supplements offer a broad range of essential vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, and can provide you with everything your body needs to grow, develop and heal.

You might also want to try adding Green Drinks to your diet. These nutritious beverages are made using carefully dehydrated greens that are packed with beneficial nutrients capable of boosting your immune system, detoxifying your cells, and neutralising many strains of harmful bacteria.

Read more about moving away from red meat, and adopting an alkaline diet, here.

If you have any questions about this article, remember that you can also call us on +44 (0) 1764 66211 for a friendly chat.